How to Use Speakers to Add Some Pizzazz to Your Meetings! Dead speakers liven up business meetings!

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How to Use Speakers to Add Some Pizzazz to Your Meetings! Dead speakers liven up business meetings!

Gen. George Patton motivating your troops to go out and do battle – with a rival company? Albert Einstein inspiring your aerospace engineers to build a better rocket? Ben Franklin welcoming them to Philadelphia and telling them how to "Catch the Lightning" in their lives?

With a little imagination and a few thousand dollars it's possible.
You have an objective to accomplish with your meeting. To reach it, you must break your attendees' pre-occupation with their own problems and get them tuned in to learning. One fabulous way is to supply a "spoon full of sugar." Instead the same old "Teamwork" talk, how about having King Arthur tell you how to develop a team? Have a midieval banquet with no utensils, turkey legs and costumes. At the end of the convention, everyone is knighted and sent forth on the "Quest for _________."

Grown-ups like to play. We bring someone famous back from history to talk to that child within. That child and this famous hero from history can create some fantastic learning… while they think they are just having fun!

Step by step plan to add pizzazz to your meeting, event, conference or convention …

1) Decide what your real objective is for having the meeting

2) Have a think tank to come up with theme ideas that help you accomplish the mission. Don't develop a theme "because it sounds like fun," or "we heard a good 'dead speaker' let's just use that." No, no, no! Use the speaker, any speaker because they help you meet the mission for the meeting.

"A theme does for a convention what the title or theme music does for a play, a motion picture or radio or television series. It creates a common need, concern, goal or challenge; it ties together the myriad elements of a convention, it aids identification and recall; it creates mood and excitement and it helps reach the objectives of the convention." La Rue Frye, Director of Conventions and Expositions for ASAE
(American Society of Association Executives), The Meeting Manager, Dec. 1987.

3) Work the theme into all areas of the meeting.

Expand your theme into all phases of the meeting; food and beverage, education, keynote speaker, entertainment, decorations, meeting materials (Including audio/visual) and giveaways.
Dress registration people in theme, get them speaking in the correct accents. Take pictures of guests with Look-a-Likes, or other costumed attendees. Encourage your attendees to wear costumes.

Music: hire a band that fits. If you have budget problems get tapes of the right kind of music and pipe it in during the meal and at the reception. Try sing-along books, or a pianist that specializes in sing-along.

Themes Worksheet

Business Objective:

General Theme Ideas:

Theme Redone to Fit Objectives:

Dress & Costume:

Food & Beverage:

Keynote Speaker:


Music (band or tapes):


Meeting Materials (Including audio/visual):



Appropriate Dates/Holidays:




Example of working theme and speakers into business meetings

Business Objective: Introduce new corporate plan.

General Theme Ideas: M.A.S.H. Theme redone to fit: "Our War Plan for Success!"

Dress & costume: Military flavor, wear fatigues, don't shave, wear bathrobes.

Food & Beverage: Bar with sign saying "First Aid Station," SPAM.

Keynote speaker: General Patton look-alike.

Music (band or tapes): Military marching bands, M.A.S.H. themes.

Decorations: Paper napkins, army tent for attendees to walk through to enter meeting.

Meeting materials (Including audio/visual): "TOP SECRET!"

Giveaways: Have pictures taken with Hot-Lips, and/or Pierce in a pretend shower. Use Polaroid camera, give attendees the shots.

Program: For Your Eyes Only! All times listed in military time.

Appropriate Dates/Holidays:

Destination: Military base or military clubs. Hotel or restaurant with military motif, museum with military exhibits.

Misc.: Some hairy brute in your group to dress up as "Klinger" in a dress. Have your president and a Radar look-alike be the day chairs, one gives directions while the Radar character says it all slightly before he does.

Some of the characters from the "The Dead Speakers Society"

Ben Franklin Albert Einstein
Mae West Christopher Columbus
King Arthur Gen. George Patton
Teddy Roosevelt Abe Lincoln
Abigail Adams Mark Twain
Abe Lincoln Captain Bligh
George Washington Eleanor Roosevelt

Lilly Walters - for over 20 years a LEADING RESOURCE helping Corporate and Association Meeting Planners find the PERFECT speakers and entertainers for their events. Former leading executive of Walters International Speakers Bureau. Today she owns and runs Amazing Motivational Keynote Speakers and helps speakers and seminar leaders find ways to increase their bookings

Lilly Walters the author of five of the best-selling books about the professional speaking industry, such as, "Speak and Grow Rich," "1,001 Ways to Make More Money as a Speaker, Consultant or Trainer: Plus 300 Rainmaking Strategies for Dry Times," and many more.

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Lilly Walters - has for over 20 years THE LEADING RESOURCE helped Corporate and Association Meeting Planners find PERFECT speakers and entertainers for their events: motivational, business leadership and management experts, keynote, celebrities, corporate entertainment, humorous, diversity, political, authors, consulting and training solutions, sport athletes and much more.

Lilly Walters is the author of five of the best-selling books about the professional speaking industry, including the best seller she wrote for Dottie Walters, "Speak and Grow Rich"